“When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”” (John 5:6)
Of all the “Questions God Asks,” this one is the most shocking. John tells us this invalid was brought daily, for 38 years, to the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem. Locals believed that the pool had healing powers. When the waters were stirred, the first one in was healed. Thirty-eight years. Every day. Nothing.
We might take issue with the superstitious hopes of this man (and the many others at the pool that day). But we don’t think twice about the woman with the issue of blood who suffered 12 years. “She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.” (Mark 5:26)
My point is, when you’re hopeless, you’re hopeless – whether you are looking for help from magic or medicine. Then, along comes Jesus with this crazy question. “Do you want to get well?”
Think about the physical act of Jesus questioning this man. The Lord kneels down and talks to him (something that hadn’t happened in 38 years). Jesus gets the man’s attention. They make eye contact and man has to take his eyes off the pool. He’d spent 38 years looking at that pool.
And that is the point of the question. “Will you trust Me rather than magic? Will you put faith in Me rather than superstition?”
“Yes? Then pick up your mat and walk!”
You and I sit poolside a lot, don’t we? Waiting for something to happen. Waiting for someone to come along and fix things for us. Hoping the water will stir. Then Jesus comes along and says: “Look at Me.”
Whatever you are going through this week, turn your eyes upon Jesus!
See you Sunday!